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VOL. 123 | NO. 253 | Monday, December 29, 2008

Daily Digest

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Court Square Condos Face Foreclosure Sale

A first-run foreclosure notice appeared in Friday’s issue of The Daily News for units 107-302 of the Court Square Condominiums at 107 S. Court Ave.

Walter Lawson bought the property from Court Square Condominiums Owners’ Association Inc. in January 2007 for $247,000 and has defaulted on a $197,600 loan through AmTrust Bank, according to the foreclosure notice, which is available at www.memphisdailynews.com .

The fixed-rate loan Lawson obtained last year was to change to an adjustable-rate mortgage in February 2012. The property is scheduled to be sold Jan. 22 at noon on the southwest steps of the Shelby County Courthouse on Adams Avenue.

The Court Square Condominiums Owners’ Association Inc. received the property in March 2006 in a zero-dollar property transfer from Court Square Partnership Inc. The 2006 deed served as the master deed establishing Court Square Condominiums and submitting them to the Horizontal Property Act.

Wayne Lowrie and Michael Richmond, president and secretary, respectively, of Court Square Partnership Inc., signed the master deed.

The building sits on a 1,498-square-foot lot on the west side of South Court Avenue. The Shelby County Assessor’s 2008 appraisal for the property is $247,000.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

Local Man Promoted To Marketing Role at Harrah’s

Collierville native Matt Ryan has been tapped as the new Mid-South area and Iowa regional vice president of marketing for Harrah’s, the casino company whose properties in Tunica include Harrah’s, Horseshoe and Sheraton.

Ryan, a more than 10-year veteran of the storied casino company, has a territory that also includes Iowa, where Harrah’s operates its Harrah’s Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Council Bluffs casinos.

The job duties that come with Ryan’s new position include handling casino marketing, special events and promotions, advertising, national casino marketing and more.

Harrah’s is one of the Mid-South’s largest employers and has more than 4,000 people working at its Tunica properties. The company in November announced the closure of its Memphis operations in favor of Las Vegas, cutting about 250 local jobs.

State, Local Unemployment Down Slightly in November

Tenessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 6.9 percent or .1 percentage point lower than October, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That compares to the U.S. employment rate of 6.7 percent for November.

On the more local front, Shelby County’s November unemployment rate came in at 6.8 percent, down from 7.1 percent in October.

To see how other counties stacked up, go to www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/november2008county.pdf.

Airline Merger Not Expected To Affect Monroe Flights

The merger of Delta and Northwest airlines isn’t expected to affect service to Atlanta and Memphis from Monroe, La.

Cleve Norrell, the manager of Monroe Regional Airport, said Delta officials told him those connections would continue. He said a reduction in service isn’t planned and that he had no reason to believe there would be one in the future.

A Delta spokesman had also said the plan was to maintain the airlines’ hubs because there was “virtually no overlap” between Delta and Northwest routes.

The airport also has connections to Dallas, via American Airlines, and Houston, via Continental Airlines.

Medtronic Buys Sleep Apnea Treatment

Medtronic Inc. has acquired InfluENT Medical’s Repose product line for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Repose surgical devices advance the base of the tongue and the hyoid bone to prevent obstructions of the airway during sleep.

In addition to the Repose system, Medtronic offers the Pillar palatal implant system, used to treat the soft palate component of sleep breathing disorders and an existing family of market-leading ENT instruments used to treat other upper airway obstructions.

Concert Industry Posts Record Year Despite Economy

The stock market is in the tank, the plant is closing and the neighbor is losing his home ... the perfect time to go to a concert, by one measure.

The concert business grossed just less than $4 billion worldwide in 2008, the most ever for a year and up almost 13 percent over last year, according to Billboard magazine.

“Overall, it’s been a pretty good year for touring,” said Ray Waddell, who covers the industry for Billboard. “I’d never say it’s recession-proof, but it’s resilient.”

In North America, the average box office gross was up 18 percent and the average attendance up 6.3 percent.

Bon Jovi’s tour was the year’s highest-grossing, based on the trade publication’s data from Nov. 14, 2007, to Nov. 11 of this year. It grossed $210.6 million and drew nearly 2.2 million fans.

Bruce Springsteen was second ($204.5 million gross) followed by Madonna ($162 million).

The most lucrative country tours were Kenny Chesney, sixth on the list with $86 million gross; and Rascal Flatts, 10th with $55.8 million.

“It’s not something you can get a fix for somewhere else,” Waddell said of live music. “There’s no other substitute for it, and compared to other things, it’s pretty affordable.”

Fans keep coming. First-week sales for Britney Spears’ 2009 tour were strong enough that extra dates were added, and AC/DC and Metallica have already sold out shows for January and February.

Last month, concert promoter giant Live Nation reported third-quarter profit more than tripled to $139.9 million.

But Waddell warned: “It would be crazy to think that the economy and unemployment won’t impact ticket sales at some point.”

The squeeze may already be on in some places. In Nashville, promoters blamed slow ticket sales for canceling a New Year’s Eve concert at the Sommet Center featuring Trace Adkins and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

John Huie, vice president of Creative Artists Agency in Nashville, which sets tour schedules for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, ZZ Top and many others, said more fans are waiting until the day of the show to buy tickets because they’re uncertain about the economy.

Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of the concert industry publication Pollstar, noted that most of the tickets for shows in October, November and even December were sold in advance, before the latest round of bad economic news. The full effect won’t be felt until next year, he predicted.

“The problem will be if we’re still in this economic environment when summer hits, when so many acts go on the road,” Bongiovanni said. “Even in good times the public has a hard time supporting them all, and obviously when people are unemployed they’re not going to be buying concert tickets.”

Junior Achievement Looks For Bowl-A-Thon Recruits

Junior Achievement is recruiting companies to participate in the annual “Bowlin’ on the River” Bowl-A-Thon Feb. 21- 22 and Feb. 28-March 1.

Proceeds will help fund Junior Achievement programs in Memphis and other Mid-South communities.

To sign-up, contact April Armstrong at 366-7800 or april@jamemphis.org. More information about the Bowl-A-Thon also is available at www.jamemphis.org or www.bowlathon.com.

Poe Cousin to Discuss Famous Relative in Jan.

The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave., will host an exhibit to commemorate the 200th anniversary of author Edgar Allan Poe’s birth Jan. 5-30.

The exhibit will feature artwork and collectibles from the personal collection of Dr. Hal Poe, a distant cousin of the writer.

The cousin, of Union University, will be on hand Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. to give an overview of the exhibit and discuss Edgar Allan Poe’s impact on American literature.

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225